Chet Atkins

June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001

Iconic guitarist, instrumentalist and producer, Chester “Chet” Atkins rarely basked in the limelight during his 50+ year career. He was more than happy to play on a friend’s record, or churn out hit after hit from the helm of the now-legendary RCA Victor studio in Nashville, Tennessee. That is not to say he wasn’t gifted in his own right. You don’t win 14 Grammys, 9 CMA awards or earn the nickname “Mr. Guitar” by being a slouch. But his biggest contribution to the music industry was undoubtedly his time spent cultivating the “Nashville Sound” that allowed Country music to successfully cross over to Pop audiences throughout the 1950s and ’60s.

A lifelong lover of music, Atkins used his passion for Jazz and Blues to broaden the landscape for Country music. As the head of RCA Victor’s Nashville division, he brought countless artists to the forefront including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride and Jerry Reed…who would become a close friend and recording partner with Atkins. Throughout his entire career as a producer and executive, he always remained most closely associated with his guitar playing. He had signature guitars created by both Gretsch and Gibson and collaborated on recordings with guitar pioneer, Les Paul later in his career. He is routinely included on lists of the greatest guitar players of all time and is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Atkins battled recurrences of colon cancer throughout the later years of his life. The disease took hold in 1996 and he lost his battle 5 years later at the age of 77.


Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Fountain section; Enter the cemetery and locate the fountain in the middle of the section to your left to the north. To the east of this fountain is a series memorial benches. Find the one marked ATKINS and Chet and his wife are buried 3 spaces south of this bench.


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